Che (Part 2) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/02/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 126 mins

Superbly directed, intriguingly non-traditional biopic with a terrific central performance from Benicio Del Toro, though it drags considerably in the middle section.

What's it all about?
Part two of Steven Soderbergh's biopic of Che Guevara begins seven years after the end of the first film, when Che (Benicio Del Toro) mysteriously disappears from public view, prompting Castro (Demian Bichir) to read a letter in public that explains his absence. However, it turns out that the most prevalent rumour is, in fact, the truth, namely that Che has gone to Bolivia in order to join the Bolivian campaign and lead the great Latin American Revolution.

However, though Che employs the same methods that worked in Cuba, the Bolivian campaign lacks popular support, perhaps because of effective government propaganda. In addition, the Bolivian army are covertly supported by US advisors and Che finds his forces rapidly dwindling.

The Good
Che (Part 2) makes an intriguing counter-point to the first film, because both films attempt to dissect a revolution, but one resulted in success and the other in failure (and ultimately led to Che's death). Del Toro is fantastic once again, while there's strong support from Franka Potente (as fellow revolutionary Tania) and Joaquim de Almeida as Presidente Barrientos. There are some great scenes here, particularly the scenes where Che suffers from asthma, which are extremely hard to watch.

The Bad
Soderbergh uses the same non-traditional techniques here as in Part 1, except this time there's no framing device and no flash-forwards. The result of this is that the film drags considerably in the middle section, where all the trudging around in the jungle eventually takes its toll, though the film does rally for an exciting climax as the Bolivian army closes in. However, a single-scene cameo by Matt Damon (as a possible CIA insurgent) backfires quite badly because you just end up thinking 'Oh, it's Matt Damon!'

Worth seeing?
In short, Che (Part 2) makes a fascinating counterpoint with Che (Part 1), but unlike the first film, it's probably not worth seeing on its own.

Film Trailer

Che (Part 2) (15)
Che (Part 2) has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 21/10/2017 05:53

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